fundraising: 1 startling fact

An important strategy for improving fundraising is startling your donors with an amazing, surprising fact about your work. Are 40% of the homeless people in your area children? Are 60% of the homeless women victims of domestic violence? Did 70% of the juveniles in prison come from the foster-home system? Are children in the foster home system moved every 17 months?

Whatever your mission, if you don’t have a startling fact or a breath-taking statistic to share with your donors you’re missing out on two key opportunities.

1. Elevate your expert status. Your donors want you to be efficient, ethical and effective but they also need you to be an expert (how’s that for a string of “E”s?). If you or your organization is not an expert in your field, why would your donors give to you? Demonstrate your expertise with an arresting fact.

2. Sharpen the reality of your work. The “homeless” are an emotional stereotype that produce giving out of guilt or habit. Children having to “car camp” because their mom is on the run from an abusive dad can bond a donor to your work for life. The true, vivid picture of your work which sticks in a donor’s imagination will change your income for the better.

startling factOur illustration is from the data backup system that Oneicity uses. Mozy does a great job of presenting pretty boring stuff in startling ways. If the amount of data in the world can be presented in a compelling way, how can you miss describing your work?

What about you, do you use startling, compelling facts in your donor communications? What do you find resonates with donors? When have you been amazed by this kind of vivid visualization?

As always, I’d love to hear what you’re thinking.


Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity


(image credit: mozy.com)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

1 thought on “fundraising: 1 startling fact”

  1. Pingback: Standing Out In Fundraising – Donor Tools Blog - Technology for Fundraising and Donor Management

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